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Synthesizers

SuperDirt is installed along with an extensive list of default audio effects and synthesizers. Note that you can also extend this list by adding your own synthesizers and audio effects to the audio engine. For instance, check out the Mutable Instruments or the SynthDefs for Tidal threads on the Tidal Club forum.

Basic instruments#

Default values are in parentheses. In all synths, sustain (default 1) affects the overall envelope timescale. The parameters pan and freq can also be set in all synths. The default value for freq is usually 440 – in synths where it’s not, freq and its default value for that synth are mentioned in its parameter list below.

caution

Some undocumented parameters are included without descriptions.

Additive synthesis#

Supergong#

An example of additive synthesis, building up a gong-like noise from a sum of sine-wave harmonics. Notice how the envelope timescale and amplitude can be scaled as a function of the harmonic frequency.

  • voice (0): provides something like a tone knob
  • decay (1): adjusts how the harmonics decay
  • accelerate (0): for pitch glide
d1 $ n (slow 2 $ fmap (*7) $ run 8)
# s "supergong"
# decay "[1 0.2]/4"
# voice "[0.5 0]/8"

Substractive synthesis#

Supersquare#

A moog-inspired square-wave synth; variable-width pulses with filter frequency modulated by an LFO:

  • voice: controls the pulse width (exactly zero or one will make no sound)
  • decay (0): the decay
  • accelerate (0): pitch glide
  • semitone (12): how far off in pitch the secondary oscillator is (need not be integer)
  • resonance (0.2): filter resonance
  • lfo (1): how much the LFO affects the filter frequency
  • rate (1): LFO rate
  • pitch1 (1): filter frequency scaling multiplier, the frequency itself follows the pitch set by “n”

Supersaw#

A moog-inspired sawtooth synth; slightly detuned saws with triangle harmonics, filter frequency modulated by LFO:

  • voice (0.5): controls a relative phase and detune amount
  • decay (0)
  • accelerate (0): pitch glide
  • semitone (12): how far off in pitch the secondary oscillator is (need not be integer)
  • resonance (0.2) filter resonance
  • lfo (1) how much the LFO affects the filter frequency
  • rate (1): LFO rate
  • pitch1 (1): filter frequency scaling multiplier, the frequency itself follows the pitch set by “n”

Superpwm#

A moog-inspired PWM synth; pulses multiplied by phase-shifted pulses, double filtering with an envelope on the second

  • voice: controls the phase shift rate
  • decay (0): decay.
  • accelerate (0): pitch glide
  • semitone (12): how far off in pitch the secondary oscillator is (need not be integer)
  • resonance (0.2): filter resonance
  • lfo (1): how much the LFO affects the filter frequency
  • rate (1): LFO rate
  • pitch1 (1): filter frequency scaling multiplier, the frequency itself follows the pitch set by “n”

Superchip#

Uses the Atari ST emulation UGen with 3 oscillators:

  • slide (0): for a linear frequency glide
  • rate (1): repeats the above glide “n” times (can be fractional or negative)
  • accelerate (0): for an overall glide
  • pitch2 (2): control the ratio of harmonics
  • pitch3 (3): control the ratio of harmonics
  • voice (0): causes variations in the levels of the 3 oscillators

Superhoover#

Hoover, adapted from Wouter Snoei’s implementation:

  • slide (0): for the amount of initial pitch glide, positive slides up in pitch, negative slides down
  • decay (0): for a different envelope shape
  • accelerate (0): for constant pitch glide

Superzow#

Phased saws:

  • decay (0): for envelope shaping
  • accelerate (0): for pitch bend
  • slide (1): how fast it moves through the phase
  • detune (1): for oscillator detuning

Supertron#

Feedback PWM:

  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide
  • voice (0): number of voices
  • detune (0): detune amount
d1 $ s "supertron"
# octave 3
# accelerate "0.2"

Superreese#

Vaguely Reese-like synth:

  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide.
  • voice (0): number of voices
  • detune (0): detune amount

Supernoise#

Digital noise in several flavors with a bandpass filter:

Superstatic#

Impulse noise with a fadein/fadeout.

  • voice: at 0 is a digital noise for which “n” controls rate, at 1 is Brown+White noise for which “n” controls knee frequency
  • accelerate: causes glide in n, “rate” will cause it to repeat
  • pitch1: scales the bandpass frequency (which tracks “n”)
  • slide: works like accelerate on the bandpass
  • resonance: is the filter resonance

Supercomparator#

  • voice (0.5): scales the comparator frequencies, higher values will sound “breathier”
  • decay (0)
  • accelerate (0): pitch glide
  • resonance (0.5): filter resonance
  • lfo (1): how much the LFO affects the filter frequency
  • rate (1): LFO rate
  • pitch1 (1): filter frequency scaling multiplier, the frequency itself follows the pitch set by “n”

Physical modelling#

Supermandolin#

Physical modeling of a vibrating string, using a delay line (CombL) excited by an intial pulse (Impulse). To make it a bit richer, I’ve combined two slightly detuned delay lines:

  • sustain (1): changes the envelope timescale
  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide
  • detune (0.2): detune amount

Superpiano#

Hooking into a nice synth piano already in SuperCollider:

  • velocity: affects how hard the keys are pressed
  • sustain: controls envelope and decay time
  • detune (0.1): detune amount.
  • muffle (1)
  • stereo (0.2): stereo amount.

Superfork#

Tuning fork from Ben Gold’s experimentation and from “On the acoustics of tuning forks”, Rossing Russell and Brown:

  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide amount.

Superhammond#

Hammond B3 sim. Frequency adjustments courtesy of Tom Wiltshire:

  • perc, percf and decay: an attempt at the percussion, no idea if it sounds at all reasonable. Vintage Hammonds had percf as 2 or 3 (switchable), two perc levels (maybe roughly 0.7 and 1.2?), and two decay options (roughly 0 and maybe 1ish?)
  • vibrato, vrate, perc, percf: new parameters you’ll need to define in Tidal if you want to change them.

Voices are drawbar presets:

  • 0. bass violin 16’
  • 1. tibia 8’
  • 2. bassoon 8’
  • 3. french trumpet 8’
  • 4. string ensemble
  • 5. Blues
  • 6. Jazz 1
  • 7. Full Shout
  • 8. Bro’ Jack
  • 9. Jazz 2

Supervibe#

Vibraphone simulation, adapted with some help from Kevin Larke’s thesis Real Time Vibraphone Pitch and Timbre Classification:

  • decay (0): use larger values to damp higher harmonics
  • velocity (1): higher velocity will brighten the sound a bit
  • accelerate (0): for a linear pitch bend
  • modamp (1): amplitude of the tremolo (0-2 is OK)
  • modfreq (7): frequency of the tremolo
  • detune (0): adjusts a high harmonic to give the sound a different character

FM synthesis#

Superfm#

6-op FM synth (DX7-like). Works a bit different from the original DX7. Instead of algorithms, you set the amount of modulation every operator receives from other operators and itself (feedback), virtually providing an endless number of possible combinations (algorithms). The synth's author did an online workshop explaining in depth how everything works:

  • voice: preset number: 0 is user-defined; 1-5 are randomly generated presets
  • lfofreq: overall pitch modulation frequency
  • lfodepth: overall pitch modulation amplitude

Each operator responds to:

  • amp: operator volume - becomes carrier
  • ratio: frequency ratio
  • detune: in Hz
  • eglevel: 1-4, 4 envelope generator levels
  • egrate 1-4, 4 envelope generator rates

The syntax for operator arguments is <argumentName + opIndex>[modulatorIndex | egIndex]. For example:

  • amp1 1: op1 as carrier with full volume
  • ratio2 2.3: op2 frequency ratio
  • mod11 0.5: op1 feedback
  • mod12 0.78: op1 modulation amount by op2
  • detune1 0.2: op1 detune
  • eglevel12 0.1: op1 EG level2
  • egrate11 0.01: op1 EG rate1
warning

Higher values go FASTER!

Drum synthesis#

Superhex#

Waveguide mesh, hexagonal drum-like membrane:

  • rate (1): ??
  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide amount

Superkick#

Kick Drum using Rumble-San’s implementation as a starting point:

  • n: controls the kick frequency in a nonstandard way
  • accelerate (0): sweeps the click filter frequency
  • pitch1 (1): affects the click frequency
  • decay (1): changes the click duration relative to the overall timescale

Super808#

A vaguely 808-ish kick drum:

  • n: controls the chirp frequency
  • rate (1): controls the filter sweep speed voice (0): sets the sinewave feedback

Superhat#

Hi-hat using Rumble-San’s implementation as a starting point:

  • n: provides some variation on the frequency in a weird way
  • accelerate (0): sweeps the filter

Supersnare#

Snare drum using Rumble-San’s implementation as a starting point:

  • n for some variation on frequency
  • decay (1): for scaling noise duration relative to tonal part
  • accelerate (0): for tonal glide

Superclap#

Hand clap using Rumble-San’s implementation as a starting point:

  • n (?): changes how spread is calculated
  • delay (1): controls the echo delay
  • rate (1): affects the decay time
  • pitch1 (1): scales the bandpass frequency

SOSKick#

Kick drum synth. Increase pitch1 and voice for interesting electronic percussion:

  • midinote – controls the root note of the kick (the source comments mention this, but the function doesn’t have this parameter at all)
  • pitch1 (0): controls modulation frequency in Hz (min: 0, max: SampleRate.ir / 2)
  • voice (1): controls modulation input phase in radians (min: 0, max: your sanity)
  • pitch2 (0): controls WhiteNoise amplitude (min: 0, max: 1)
  • speed (0.3): controls WhiteNoise sweep (min: 0, max: 1)
  • freq (65)

SOSHats#

  • resonance (1): bandpass filter resonance value (min: 0, max: 1)
  • pitch1 (238.5): oscillator modulation in radians (min: 0, max: SampleRate.ir / 2)
  • sustain (0.5): sustain amount
  • freq (220): frequency

SOSToms#

  • voice (0.5): controls modulation input phase in radians (min: 0, max: your sanity)
  • sustain (0.5): sustain amount
  • freq (261.626): frequency

SOSSnare#

voice (0.385): controls modulation input phase in radians (min: 0, max: your sanity) semitone (0.452): modulation frequency in semitones of fundamental pitch1 (2000): resonance filter frequency (Hz) resonance (0.1): resonance of bandpass and resonz filters (min: 0, max: 1) freq (405): frequency

Audio Input#

in#

Live audio input:

  • in: audio input

inr#

Pitch shifted live audio input:

  • inr: audio input
  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide

Other synths and goodies#

imp#

Modulated band limited impulse:

  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide amount

psin#

Modulated phase mod sines:

  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide amount

gabor#

Gabor grain

cyclo#

Shepard on a cycle:

  • accelerate (0): pitch-glide amount.

Supersiren#

A controllable synth siren, defaults to 1 second, draw it out with sustain.

Supergrind#

From synthdef.art fragment(2018-08-16):

  • accelerate (0): for pitch glide
  • detune (0): in Hz, but even small values are quite noticeable
  • voice (0): changes harmonics
  • rate (1): is the impulse trigger rate
Last updated on by Raphael Forment